Texting Pedestrians Are Distracted; But Blaming Pedestrians Will Not Improve Road Safety
USA- Health24.com writes that cellphones are a factor in pedestrian crashes in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 6,283 people died in pedestrian collisions in 2018 throughout the country.*
Texting while driving is a known safety risk, but experts are saying that texting while walking is also a major problem, as well. One study looked at distracted walking and found that people walking while texting were at a greater risk than those speaking on the phone or listening to music.
The study looked at virtual street crossings and had people participate in simulated crossings while engaging in different phone-related activities. Using a phone was found to impact a person’s ability to look around and identify risks when crossing the street.
While distracted pedestrians may put themselves at risk, researchers say the blame should not be placed on pedestrians. Officials trying to make the roads safer must take into account the reality of the modern world. One of the researchers pointed out that Oslo, Norway, a city whose population size is similar to that of Washington D.C., reported that no pedestrians or cyclists died on Oslo's roads in 2019. The city implemented lower speed limits and closed some of major downtown streets to cars. The study indicates the need to design better roads and cities to accommodate pedestrians.
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